Saturday, April 21, 2012

It Was A Hit!

We pulled it off!! My brothers and I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself and threw my parents a wonderful 60th wedding anniversary party. About 75 of their closest friends and family turned out and everyone had a great time. I received many compliments from people in attendance which made me very happy. You never know how events like this will turn out, especially when there was a huge hiccup that no one saw coming.

Thursday afternoon I received a call from my mother informing me that my Uncle Roger had passed away in his sleep that morning. Uncle Roger was my Dad's younger brother and this was not expected. With the party just 3 days away, I wasn't sure how to proceed. Will my Dad be in any mood to celebrate? Would it be disrespectiful to go forward with the party? Most everything had been ordered, paid for and we were ready to go. I didn't know at that point when services for my Uncle would be either...and would that interfere with anything?? All I could do was wait and see what was going to happen.
On Friday I heard from my Uncle's daughter who said she and her husband weren't going to be able to attend the anniversary party because they had to go to Canada to accompany her fathers body through Customs. We spoke for a bit and she told me that her father would not be happy if we cancelled the party...60 years of marriage was something to celebrate and we should proceed. So with a heavy heart we did...and it was just what the family needed to get through the tough times ahead. To honor my Uncle, I had the DJ pause the music and request a moment of silence before lunch was served. It didn't seem like enough but somehow I felt he was smiling down at us all and making sure everyone had a good time. My parents enjoyed their day and that's all that mattered to me. So here are a few pictures from the afternoon to enjoy.


Wrist Corsage


Gifts and Guest Book

Eric, Dad, Sara and sister in law Diane

Mom, Sara and Me

My brother Dave, Diane, brother in law Ray, the back of my nephew Jason and my Dad

Cutting the cake

Dancing to their wedding song Because of You by Tony Bennett (and our awesome DJ Joe in the background)

The Cake

My Niece Crystal and Sara singing to my parents

About a third of the family

My Dad dancing with 2 of his favorite girls

Sunday, March 25, 2012

60th Anniversary

Next month my parents will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. That is something I cannot fathom! 10 years ago when they celebrated their brothers, parents and my 2 kids went on a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate. That was what they wanted in place of a party. But this year my father was going to plan a big party to celebrate. If it was up to him, he would pay for everything. But I cannot allow that so my two brothers and I have decided to take on the challenge. So for the last month we have been putting together what I hope will be a memorable celebration for them.
It's been a lot of work but thanks to Facebook and a whole lotta extended family, I have been able to get 52 invitations addressed and mailed out. A lot of my parents friends and siblings are in their 70's and 80's so I had to go old school and do everything manually. Not many of them have come into the digital world so hand written invitations went out with both my phone number and email address to RSVP to. I have 44 people confirmed at this moment with another week to go. The party itself is not a surprise to them but I think some of the people coming will be. It should be fun.
We have a hall rented and a caterer ready. My brother also hired a DJ who has some fun things planned. I've been compiling a lot of photos of my parents from their wedding up through the years and the DJ will put together a slideshow with music to run throughout the afternoon. I still have to order a cake and next weekend we are going to shop for decorations and other necessary items. I also want to get my parents a digital photo album so they can have their favorite photos at the ready to look at and scroll through whenever they want. Looking through all these old pictures has really been a trip and I know they will love having them where they can see them instead of in a box in the basement.
There is still a lot to do but everything in it's own time. I have several things checked off my list and I hope I don't forget anything.
So that's what I've been up to the last few weeks. What have you been doing??

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cruise 2012

So our vacation was wonderful...nothing like it, that's for sure. I love me a big cruise ship with warm breezes and pretty umbrella drinks at my beck and call.
We left Miami on Sunday afternoon and headed for Nassau, Bahamas. The weather was a bit overcast but warm, and the seas were a bit choppy. We settled into our cabin, unpacked and got ready for dinner. I really wish I had taken pictures of all of our meals because every meal was delicious. The first night on board was for exploring and we roamed all around the ship all evening getting to know where everything was. We stopped at several watering holes and sampled drinks, listened to the band or woman playing piano in the piano bar. We ended our night at the comedy club, watched a show then headed back to our cabins for some much needed sleep.

Monday morning we woke up in Nassau and had breakfast on the deck watching the city come to life. We got off the ship a few hours later and walked around Nassau, did a little shopping and had lunch at Senior Frogs, a local bar and grille.
We met up with Ray and Diane later in the afternoon and went down to the pool area to 'chillax' as our cruise director was always saying.

Tuesday we spent the whole day at sea. There is so much on board to keep us amused. From the pool area, to the different games and activities on board, we had plenty to keep us occupied. We spent some time up in the pool area but it gets really crowded there on days at sea so we went back to our room and ended up sunning ourselves on the balcony. I got some reading done while working on my tan. Naps were also good most afternoons so we could stay up later in the evenings.

Wednesday we went to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. This turned out to be one of the most fun days we had. We booked a tour on a party barge for the afternoon and oh my did we ever have fun. It was a small group on board but we were all up for a good time. Our tour guide, George, was a lot of fun and had a lot of information to share about the Islands. I loved listening to the Calypso Band and even won a prize playing Name That Tune. I had a choice of something from the gift shop or a free drink. I chose a tee shirt, then bought myself a drink. LOL
We stopped at a beach and were able to go swimming or just lounge for an hour. The ride back was a blast. The crew started a Conga Line and were dancing and singing all the way back. There was also a Limbo contest which I did not participate in but it sure was fun to watch. I really didn't want to leave, it was so much fun. I was also quite inebriated after drinking several "Painkillers" on board.

We went shopping before going back on board the cruise ship, and I got some cool shot glasses and some little gifts for George's grandkids. We got back on board, I grabbed a shower and we headed for another fantastic dinner. It was our 3rd weddinganniversary that night and the waitstaff sang to us after dinner and brought us a small cake for dessert. Lots of fun! I'm not sure if that was the night we went to the comedy club to see a different comedian but I think it was.

Thursday we were in San Juan. We really didn't have a lot of time on shore that day but we did take a tour of old San Juan and walked around for a couple of hours. I wish now that we had taken a cab ride through the city but that will be for another time I guess.

Friday we were in Grand Turk. What a beautiful place to visit. We walked around for awhile, stopped at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville for some local fare, then hung out at the beach for awhile. We then took a walk around the Island and saw where John Glenn splashed down on one of his missions some 50 years ago. George is a big history buff so he found this rather interesting. The botanical gardens were also very pretty. I would love to spend a little more time there sometime in the future.

Saturday was another day at sea and then we were back in Miami on Sunday, The week went by wayyy too fast, that's for sure. Can't wait to do it all again.

I know we've been home for two weeks but I haven't had much time to sort through over 300 pictures and get them posted. But today I set aside the entire morning to do so...I hope you all enjoy! I hope the ones I chose give you some sort of idea of how much fun we had!

She's a bad influence

Ray and Diane

No comment

We had only been on board a couple hours...waiting to leave Port.

We were on this ship 2 years ago, Carnival Valor leaving Port

Miami from our balcony

Leaving Miami

The Bahamas from our balcony Good Morning!

Sunrise in the Bahamas

Ivan the best Bar Steward on the ship

Our Maitre D

Our Waiter who looks like PeeWee Herman

Ray, Diane, George and Me at Dinner

Calypso Band on the Kon Tiki

Calypso Band relaxing on the Kon Tiki

Pirate Ship

Aboard the Kon Tiki Party Barge

Rainbow over St. Thomas

St. Thomas from the Kon Tiki

Conga Line

Limbo Contest

Sunset in the Virgin Islands

Our servers wishing us a Happy Anniversary

Old San Juan

Shopping in Old San Juan

Leaving San Juan

Sunrise on the ocean


Weather Station at Margaritaville

On the beach at Grand Turk

Botanical Garden on Grand Turk

Heading back to the ship (ours is on the right) the boat on the left was the Princess Ruby, one of the two Princess ships where a lot of people were sick.

Leaving Grand Turk

Grand Turk Island

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow, Sleet and Sunshine

One week from today I will be on board the cruise ship and sailing away to St. Thomas, San Juan and the Grand Turks. I am so looking forward to a week of sunshine, warm breezes, calypso music and fruity umbrella drinks. Not to mention the wonderful company of my brother in law Ray and his lovely wife Diane, who by the way, has become the sister I never had. We are flying to Florida on Saturday and staying in Miami overnight, then boarding Sunday morning. And no...the recent Cruise ship disaster in Italy does not scare me nor will it stop me from going. If I worried about things beyond my control, I'd never leave the house. While my heart goes out to those who lost their lives and their families, I am confident that a repeat incident will not occur.

A couple of weeks ago we had a very nice post Christmas brunch with the Ferland Family. We had about 14 people here and served scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, muffins, pancakes, Swedish meatballs, ham and tuna salad rolls and fruit. It was nice to have the entire family together and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Next year it will take place at Ray and Diane's house and I am looking forward to that.

Last week was probably the stormiest week we've had weatherwise, all winter. With temps in the 50's most of December and very little snow up until recently, I guess we were a bit spoiled. None of the storms last week were big in snowfall totals but more like nuisance storms. It seemed like every morning I had to deal with some kind of precipitation on my way to work. On Tuesday, we had 4 inches of snow to drive through that changed to rain by afternoon. Of course, the temperatures dropped during the night, making the roads completely slick. I had a very difficult time getting out of my driveway. I actually slid sideways down the driveway on my first attempt to get up the driveway...which was a little scary. Once my car came to a stop, I pulled out my cell phone and called George, who was inside asleep, and asked him to come out and help. He put down some salt and after a few more attempts I got up to the main road and was on my way. 90 minutes later, I pulled into the parking area at work, only to find out that there was no power and everything was completely in the dark. I sat in the car debating on going inside but the thought of making that return trip home on ice covered roads was not appealling to me so I ventured inside. Everyone that had managed to make it into work was sitting in the cafeteria waiting for someone to make a decision. Do we stay or do we go? No one wanted to leave unless we knew we were going to get paid and that decision had to be made by someone from the front office and of course, no one of that level was at work at 5:30 am. 2 hours later, the lights came back on and we all headed upstairs to get to work. I was a little out of sorts all day but managed to get through it. The drive home was much more pleasant with clear roads and no rain or snow for a change.
We've been in a strange weather pattern and had annoying snow showers Friday morning and all day yesterday but today the sun is shining and it looks beautiful outside. It is very cold though, it was -9 when I got up this morning at 7. I hear we will be having more snow/sleet/rain crap to deal with in the morning. Wonderful!

Eric invited Sara to be his guest at his company's after Christmas Holiday party which took place last night. They were having a ball, it was a dress up affair and Sara sent me this pic of them.

I am so glad they are close and look out for each other. These types of pictures put a huge smile on my face. Eric looks good...he's lost a little weight in recent months and I love seeing the smile back on his face.
And we all know how much Iggy loves Sara's bright smile!

Well I guess I should get moving and get some chores done. George has taken Hunter down to Petco for a pedicure and I have a couple loads of laundry to deal with. Later we will be watching the Patriots/Ravens football game (Go Pats!) and then I imagine we'll watch the Giants/49ers after that. I can't believe football is coming to a close...the season is so short. But that just means baseball spring training is not too far behind I guess!

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Random Thoughts

A week into the new year and all is going well so far. I've had this week off and pretty much got the house back in order, except for the Christmas tree which we have left up until Sunday. We are having George's family over for an after Christmas brunch on Sunday and once that is over, Christmas will be in the books for another year.

Eric is all moved into his new place and he seems to be handling the pending divorce ok. I think at this point he will be happy to have it over with so he can move on with his life. I thought at first, that he would have a hard time getting through this but Jessie has made it very easy by being the witch that she is. She has truly shown her true colors by running up a whole lot of bills and taking all but $100 from their joint savings account. She asked her parents for some financial help and when they turned her down, she just helped herself. Thankfully, Eric had stopped the direct deposit at work several weeks prior and was able to keep his paycheck from her grasp. No doubt in my mind she would have drained that account too.
Jessie's parents have been very gracious to Eric and they still wanted Eric to live in their house but it was just too awkward. Jessie's father still calls Eric 'son' and he invited Eric to attend a hockey game with him this weekend so I assume they know that this whole thing has been all Jessie's idea.

The other good thing that has come out of all this is Eric took George aside on Christmas Day and apologized for all of the BS that went on before the wedding. He explained that it was all Jessie and he went along with it all to keep the peace but he knows that doing so was hurtful to George and his kids. His family is here to help him and we've stood by him, even if he didn't stand up for his family when she would bash us. I'm not a vindictive person but I really do hope that she gets what's coming to her. I firmly believe in karma...and she has no good karma surrounding her.

I am really not looking forward to going back to work on Monday. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have a job but these two weeks off have been wonderful! I like staying up at night and getting up when I want to in the morning, I like cooking nice meals for dinner and not rushing or cooking something fast to get a meal on the table. Definitely not looking forward to a more regimented work day and going to bed at 8:00 because I have to get up at 3:30 in the morning.
Good thing is I only have to work 3 weeks and then I am on vacation again. George and I are going on a cruise to St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turks with my brother in law and sister in law. I am so looking forward to spending time in the tropics and with them. We always have a fun time together and this should be no exception.

It's about time for me to head to the kitchen and start dinner. I hope everyone is having a great New Year so far. Stay warm and safe...catch you all soon!